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Auction Of Stephen Hawking’s Belongings Will Take Place At Christie’s

Hawking's items will be on display for several days in London, beginning October 30.

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Stephen Hawking
A Book, and scripts by Stephen Hawking are among the personal and academic possessions of Stephen Hawking at the auction house Christies in London. VOA

Several possessions of the late physicist’s Stephen Hawking will be included in an upcoming auction at Christie’s, the famed auction house.

Included among the items belonging to the iconic scientist will be one of his wheelchairs, one of five copies of his Cambridge University Ph.D. thesis “Properties of Expanding Universes,” and a script from one of his appearances on the television show “The Simpsons.”

At age 22, Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, just as he was beginning his doctoral work at Cambridge.

Stephen Hawking, pixabay
Stephen Hawking, pixabay

Thomas Venning, head of books and manuscripts at Christie’s, said Hawking was so despondent over the diagnosis that he “gave up his studies for a time.”

Hawking, however, returned to school, Venning said, and his thesis “was the fruit of his reapplying himself to his scientific work.” Hawking kept his thesis beside him for the rest of his life, according to Venning.

Hawking was one of the few scientists who have reached celebrity status. He is probably best known for his best-selling book “A Brief History of Time” and for his appearances on “The Simpsons.”

His daughter Lucy said the auction gives “admirers of his work the chance to acquire a memento of our father’s extraordinary life in the shape of a small selection of evocative and fascinating items.”

Stephen Hawking
(FILE)-Scientist Stephen Hawking giving his views on the danger of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The physicist’s children hope to preserve his scientific archive.

The Associated Press reports that Christie’s is handling negotiations to hand over the archive to British authorities in lieu of inheritance tax.

His items will be featured in a science sale that also includes papers by Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein.

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Hawking’s items will be on display for several days in London, beginning October 30.

Hawking died in March at age 76. (VOA)

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US Researchers Redefine Conditions that Makes a Planet Habitable

The researchers also found that planets with thin ozone layers, which have otherwise habitable surface temperatures, receive dangerous levels of UV dosages

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Planet
Instruments, such as the Hubble Space Telescope and James Webb Space Telescope, have the capability to detect water vapor and ozone on a Planet. Pixabay

A team of US researchers has redefined the conditions that make a Planet habitable by taking the star’s radiation and the planet’s rotation rate into account – a discovery that will help astronomers narrow down the search around life-sustaining planets.

The research team is the first to combine 3D climate modeling with atmospheric chemistry to explore the habitability of planets around M dwarf stars, which comprise about 70 per cent of the total galactic population.

Among its findings, the Northwestern team, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder, NASA’s Virtual Planet Laboratory and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, discovered that only planets orbiting active stars — those that emit a lot of ultraviolet (UV) radiation — lose significant water to vaporization.

Planets around inactive, or quiet, stars are more likely to maintain life-sustaining liquid water.

The researchers also found that planets with thin ozone layers, which have otherwise habitable surface temperatures, receive dangerous levels of UV dosages, making them hazardous for complex surface life.

“It’s only in recent years that we have had the modeling tools and observational technology to address this question,” said Northwestern’s Howard Chen, the study’s first author.

“Still, there are a lot of stars and planets out there, which means there are a lot of targets,” added Daniel Horton, senior author of the study. “Our study can help limit the number of places we have to point our telescopes”.

The research was published in the Astrophysical Journal.

Horton and Chen are looking beyond our solar system to pinpoint the habitable zones within M dwarf stellar systems.

M dwarf planets have emerged as frontrunners in the search for habitable planets.

Planet
A team of US researchers has redefined the conditions that make a Planet habitable by taking the star’s radiation and the planet’s rotation rate into account. Pixabay

They get their name from the small, cool, dim stars around which they orbit, called M dwarfs or “red dwarfs”.

By coupling 3D climate modeling with photochemistry and atmospheric chemistry, Horton and Chen constructed a more complete picture of how a star’s UV radiation interacts with gases, including water vapor and ozone, in the planet’s atmosphere.

Instruments, such as the Hubble Space Telescope and James Webb Space Telescope, have the capability to detect water vapor and ozone on exoplanets. They just need to know where to look.

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“‘Are we alone?’ is one of the biggest unanswered questions,” Chen said. “If we can predict which planets are most likely to host life, then we might get that much closer to answering it within our lifetimes.” (IANS)